The Star Story of Christmas you didn’t Know about.
The story of Christmas is centered around the birth of Jesus Christ with several unusual happenings and events. One of such unusual happening is about the Magi from the East and the unusual star they spotted from the East. This piece about the star story of Christmas is centered around this two. Now let’s begin the star story of Christmas according to my musing with God.
And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
What have you seen in your life that made you rejoice with exceeding great joy?
While you ponder on this, the Magi in this text will quickly tell you: “His Star!”
What about “His star?”
Science has always had a hard time trying to justify or prove certain truth in the holy scriptures to be false and before us is a text that they glee over so much because Mathews account of the birth of Christ with regards to “His star” is not scientifically correct or consistent with the behavior of the stars in space. It is in direct contradiction of the laws of astronomy that God in His infinite mercy has enabled men to discover.
Scripturally “His star” holds so much significance that God desires that we know in order to fully appreciate this season.
Before we continue let’s look at what we are dealing with:
- The wise men
- His star
THE WISE MEN
The Greek word for the wise men in this scripture is “magi” and this is where we get the word “magician”, yes, before your raised your eyebrows come down because of the word “magician” lets consider this as well; at the time of this event it was not an easy feat to differentiate those who practiced magic/occultism and actual science. For example, Chemists at that time were called Alchemist (people who try to change one substance into another (usually gold) by all sorts of method including incantations and what we call today experimental chemistry. So, the magi could be scientist which includes astrologers.
Mathew recorded that they came from the east, and this location is significant because it is the same place the Bible refers to in Daniel 2 where Nebuchadnezzar referred to similar people as magicians, wise men and astrologers. This could be the same group of people because we find them in Daniel 2 being called in to interpret the Kings dream and Daniel was among the wise men or Magi. This further says that the wise men were not altogether occult men or magicians but men who walked in exceptional wisdom. This exceptional wisdom is also shown when Daniel in Daniel 2 told the King that it is only through God that one can be able to tell the King’s dream and interpret it.
The magi in this text were men also referred to as kings in certain histories who walked in uncommon wisdom. Magi is a plural word meaning that they were more than 1 in number but not necessarily 3 in number like we have alluded them to be 3 wise men simply because of the 3 types of gifts that they brought. So, let’s say they were Kings or were sent by Kings; I will come back to this later.
Our God is a master planner in mysterious ways beyond our mental capacities. Which doesn’t explain why He chose these Eastern Magi but I will try to point out certain similarities with this scenario and God’s previous acts. Why did God use Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar, Pilate e.t.c? may be same reason why He chose the Magi to come see the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
WHEN DID THEY COME?
From Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus, we will find another character that visited Jesus – the shepherds. From the Bible we find that the shepherds visited same night that Jesus was born while Mary was still at the manger. While Mathew accounts that the Magi saw the star when Jesus was born and embarked on the journey to come worship Him. This journey, let’s say from Babylon which is East of Jerusalem could take them 6-24 weeks due to the distance. This is why Mathew’s account in Mathew 2:11 said they met Jesus at the house and not in the manger. Arguably they came to Jesus when he was between 6months to 2years old, referring also to why Herod commanded to kill every child from 2 years down in Bethlehem and her surroundings.
WHAT DID THEY BRING?
Earlier I mentioned that the Magi could be Kings because of certain histories and accounts but more likely to support this aspersion is because of the type of gifts that they brought. Mathew 2:11 says that they opened their treasures and brought out gifts: gold. Frankincense and Myrrh. Although several commentaries have further explained the significance of each gift yet I am particular about the gold and what it could do.
Shortly after the Magi left, in Mathew 2:13 God instructed Joseph in a dream through an Angel to flee to Egypt until further notice for the safety of Jesus’ life. Typical of God equipping you while He calls you, obviously Joseph wasn’t going to be doing carpentry in Egypt; gold has been made available for their upkeep. You now see why God to choose the Magi, they had gold for the “born king of the Jews”. I am sure that at this time it would be difficult for a Jew to be willing to part with his gold at a moment’s notice.
God does not need you to worry-He’s got you covered. If it is gold you need to get that kingdom vision up and running; you can bet that He’s got gold for you. The gold you need is right here already waiting for you to receive them.
Mathew 2:2 …for we have seen His star in the East…
The Magi referred to this star as “His star” suggesting that this was no ordinary star. Naturally stars do not rise in the West, they rise in the East. So, while the Magi was at Jerusalem, they told Herod about seeing His star in the East, meaning that Jerusalem was West of Babylon (their location at the sighting of the star). Likewise, no star in the universe could have gone before the Magi because Bethlehem is to the South of Jerusalem. Stars do not move South, they move West. Also, stars do not settle over houses like this one did settle over the house where Jesus was at that time. So, if we follow the infallible science of astrology, Mathew’s account regarding the account will be inconsistent.
This was no ordinary star. Then we should look at it from a supernatural angle; remember the Magi were coming from Babylon, same place Daniel served as a Magi as well. Then we should consider an unlikely character, a man called Balaam.
AN UNLIKELY CHARACTER
Balaam in Numbers 22 and 24 who is described in the Bible as a soothsayer. Numbers 22 introduces him to be based at Pethor, near the river Euphrates which is very close to Babylon which sort of positions him as a likely ancestor to the Babylonian Magi in Daniels time. Balaam was hired by Balak the Moabite king to curse Isreal at that time. While Balaam attempted to do so, God gave him a command to bless them instead and while doing so he prophesied saying in Numbers 24:17 I see Him, but not now; I behold Him but not near; A star shall come out of Jacob; a scepter shall rise out of Isreal and batter the brow of Moab and destroy all the sons of tumult.
DANIEL\’S MESSIANIC PROPHECY
So either Daniel had spoken to the Magi about this prophecy of Balaam or that the Magi had known about it through Balaam’s records. Remember, Daniel was the Chief administrator of the Magi and Daniel prophesied so much about Jesus in Daniel 9:25-26.
To further buttress the link between the Magi at Daniel’s time with Balaam and the Magi in Mathew 2, lets look at their actions in the same Mathew 2. The Magi knew about Balaam’s Messianic prophecy as well as Daniel’s but not Micah’s in Micah 5:2 which says: But you Bethlehem Ephratha, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler in Israel, whose going forth are from of old from everlasting.
Because if they had known about this Micah’s Messianic prophecy, they would not have gone to Jerusalem, they would have gone straight to Bethlehem.
Curiously one would begin to wonder why the Magi were looking for His star if they had not been told about His star that shall rise. His star is no ordinary star and I will say it again and again.
HIS SHEKINAH GLORY
The Greek word for star used in this passage is “aster” which implies something that is strewn-a very bright passage of light. Then I ask: what could possibly be able to move from West to East as a stream of light? Only one scenario in the Bible came to my mind which is “the pillar of fire”. Nehemiah 9:12 Moreover you led them by day with a cloudy pillar, and by night with a pillar of fire. To give them light on the road which they should travel.
This is typical of the Shekinah glory of God according to Exodus 40:34-38 talking about the glory of God to rest over the tabernacle when God appears. So because of the character of the Shekinah glory which appears as a stream of light signifying the presence of God then this star referred to by the magi as “His star” is no ordinary astronomical star but the appearance of the presence of GOD- the Shekinah Glory which at that time has been absent for more than 100 years, the period which is usually referred to as the dark ages.
Under Daniels leadership, many of these Magi must have renounced their paganism to the worship of God. They must have known about the Shekinah glory that they searched earnestly for it, watching for any sign that can point them to it. We find them to have noticed it, followed it till it rested on the house where Jesus was; provoking them to rejoice with an exceeding great joy. They came to worship and while at it, they choose to prophesy with their choice of gifts:
- Gold – King
- Frankincense – Priest
- Myrrh – Prophet
Christmas is a call to follow the presence of God-the Shekinah glory which has appeared and lives in our hearts as believers. It is the glory of God that will throw light into every area of your life, including the coming new year.
So again, like I did in the opening paragraphs, I ask: what can you see this season that will make you rejoice so greatly?
What provokes your worship?
What pulls the strings of your heart?
God’s shekinah glory is here and He has given His glory where he is currently dwelling in our hearts. This is enough reason to rejoice so greatly.
What is your story of Christmas?
This is the story of Christmas; Jesus is King of Kings.
TO KNOW THE KING OF KINGS
In case you want to know this King over all other Kings and allow Him rule over your heart and affairs, then say this confession with me: Lord thank you for this opportunity, I acknowledge that I am a sinner and that you have died for my sins on the cross and God has raised you from the dead. I confess with my mouth that you are now my Lord.
If you have just made this confession then you are saved and born again. Do reach out to me and I will let you know further the next step to take.
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